Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 13, 2016

Meet an Aussie Author: Rod Jones

Rod Jones-credit-Daniel CraigThanks to a bit of serendipity on Twitter, I have been able to persuade Rod Jones to join my occasional Meet an Aussie Author series!

Rod Jones is the award-winning author of six novels, two of which I’ve read and enjoyed.

  • Julia Paradise (McPhee Gribble, 1986, which won the Fiction Award in the South Australian Premier’s Awards in 1988; was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award; and was runner-up for the Femina Etranger Prize in Paris.  It was reissued as a Text Classic in 2013, see my review)
  • Prince of the Lilies (McPhee Gribble 1991)
  • Billy Sunday (Pan Macmillan, 1995)
  • Nightpictures (Random House, 1997)
  • Swan Bay (Random House, 2003)
  • The Mothers (Text, 2015), see my review and also this illuminating interview at the SMH.

On the day I looked at Fishpond there was a good selection of these books, new and used.  Readings is stocking Julia Paradise and The Mothers.   You might be lucky and find one or two of the backlist at Brotherhood Books too.

I’m always fascinated by the way authors answer these ten questions so differently…

1.  I was born in The Haven, a home for unmarried mothers in North Fitzroy. I was adopted at six weeks.
2. When I was a child I wrote not very much. I was a reader, though. I’ve always loved being in that trance state.
3. The person who encouraged me to write was Gwyn Dow, my Education lecturer at Melbourne University. I gave her a new chapter of my first novel every fortnight instead of having to read the dull textbooks about pedagogy.
4. I write in a large, sunny, north-facing room at home. I treasure my solitude and give short shrift to persons from Porlock.
5. I write when I wake in the early mornings, when my thinking is still close to the urgent truth of dreams.
6. Research is not really my thing. Dance first, think later. Beckett said something like that.
7. I keep my published works in a bookcase in my study. I’ve also stored copies of overseas and foreign language editions with my papers and manuscripts at the State Library of Victoria.
8. On the day my first book was published, I lay on the front lawn and gazed up at the sky. The world felt different. It was the very beginning of summer.
9. At the moment, I’m writing a novel set in Paris in the 1970s. I might even finish it one day.
10. When I’m stuck for an idea, I await with impatience the cocktail hour.

Ah yes, it’s amazing how a cocktail can stimulate the imagination!

Thanks, Rod, for participating.


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  1. I thought Julia Paradise was incredible. Its power hit me after turning the last page.


    • Yes, I remember blundering around the house thinking about it for days afterwards.


  2. I read The Mothers after seeing your review. Really enjoyed it. Must try some of his other books.


    • It’s quite haunting, isn’t it? And a rare example of a man writing evocatively from a woman’s PoV.


  3. You know how excited I get when I see a ‘meet an Aussie author’ post in my inbox. I can definitely relate to answer 10. ;)


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